Calcium Hypochlorite [Ca(ClO)2 or CaCl2O2]
Calcium hypochlorite (chlorine)
Calcium hypochlorite is an inorganic compound with the formula Ca(ClO)₂. It is the main active ingredient of commercial products called bleaching powder, chlorine powder, or chlorinated lime, used for water treatment and as a bleaching agent.
It is also known as chloride of lime, lime chloride or calcium salt. The chemical appears as a white granular solid with an odour of chlorine. It occurs in hydrous and anhydrous states. It is noncombustible but acts as an accelerant for other combustible materials. It is also toxic and irritating to the skin. It readily decomposes in water and releases chlorine and oxygen in the process.
The chemical is found as chlorinated lime or bleaching powder, high test hypochlorite (HTH) or in tablet form. Chlorinated lime contains between 20-35% chlorine and is normally a mixture of calcium hydroxide, calcium chloride and calcium hypochlorite. HTH contains between 65-70%, occurs as a white powder and is more stable. For the tablet form of calcium hypochlorite, the tablets are normally added to prevent powdering in materials and are mostly intended for individual use.
Some of the applications of Calcium hypochlorite include:
1. It is used to disinfect swimming pools and swimming water.
2. It is used as an industrial bleaching agent in commercial laundries and textile mills.
3. It is used in household disinfectants and cleaners.
4. It is used as a sanitizer.
5. It is used to clean up hydrazine spills.
6. It is used at 2% together with boric acid to clean up glossy contaminated premises.
7. It is applied as a fungicide which is mostly known as chloride of lime.
8. It is used to treat thiol spills.
9. It is used as an oxidizing agent in calico printing.
10. It is used as a decontaminant for mustard gas.
11. It is used as a pesticide for caterpillars.
12. It is used in slime control for bacteria during the treatment of industrial cooling water.
13. It is used to control odour in sewage and wastewater effluents.
14. It is used in wineries, breweries, food-processing plants, canneries, beverage-bottling plants, and diaries for general sanitization.
15. It is used for cyanide destruction.